ROCKY MOUNTAIN INNOSPHERE  : A non-profit technology incubator formed to accelerate job creation and entrepreneurship

As part of our study trip in Colorado, we visit Rocky Mountain Innosphere (RMI) in Fort Collins. The visit was held Thursday, May 29 (our penultimate day in Colorado).

Rocky Mountain Innosphere (RMI) began as the Fort Collins Virtual Incubator in 1998, support by the City of Fort Collins with General Fund dollars. Over the years, the program grew to include entrepreneurial support services. Today, RMI provides a wide array of services to start-up companies in Fort Collins, including the physical office and wet lab space of the newly constructed facility.

The concept has really grown and RMI works today with many industries, researchers with main goal of jobs creation. Precisely they work in software design, in sustainability (energy and water issues energy), energy control like smart grid, transportation clean tech, health and bioscience.  To learn more about RMI(http://www.innosphere.org/index.asp )

About our visit, we arrived around 9:30 AM and we were greeted by M Doug Johnson, Vice President, Capital Access and Ms Lisa Rephlo, Executive director of Colorado Clean Energy Cluster, which had planned a breakfast for us 🙂

The visit began with the presentation of the Grenoble ecosystem, GIANT, Tennerdis and our master to our guests (M. Doug Johnson and Ms Lisa Rephlo). The presentation has been made by Haikel, Giuseppe and Loic.

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Great was our surprise when, at the end of our presentation M. Doug Johnson has taken exactly the same slides to illustrate to us the Fort Collins ecosystem.

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According to him, the cities of Fort Collins and Grenoble have a similar ecosystem.  Cause of that he says:  we are closed to work together”.

In fact, like TENNERDIS (www.tenerrdis.fr) witch is an incubator in center of Grenoble’s ecosystem, RMI works with a very ambitious cycle. This cycle is composed of Colorado State University (www.colostate.edu which we visited also…), Fort Collins University and Colorado Clean Energy Cluster  (www.coloradocleanenergy.com) an enterprise to attract, incubate and grow clean energy enterprises.  Colorado Clean Energy Cluster can be compared in Grenoble ecosystem, with GIANT. Like GIANT it cooperates with private industries (Schneider-Electric), universities and cities.

These three mains institutions of Fort Collins ecosystem (Colorado State University, Fort Collins University and Colorado Clean Energy Cluster), work together to help start-up, public companies and others companies in developing new technologies.

The important thing to bear in mind is that RMI is a non-profit incubator witch strategy is to attract, incubate and graduate the most promising Cleantech, Bioscience and Software companies that will grow the economy, create jobs and address some of the most critical issues facing our world today in energy, water, transportation and healthcaregoal. In Grenoble  Ecosystem, RMI is like TENNERDIS (www.tenerrdis.fr) and GATE 1 (www.gate1.fr) a resources center for the researchers, the engineers and the entrepreneurs of ambitious projects. These three incubators have the ambition to graduate more and more companies.

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By Vanessa NGANKOUO-OUANDJI, Hady MOUYIDOU and Arauld SODJINOU

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